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An outbreak of Salmonella Typhimurium DT191a associated with reptile feeder mice

  • K. S. HARKER (a1), C. LANE (a1), E. DE PINNA (a1) and G. K. ADAK (a1)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 14 October 2010

In December 2008 an increase of tetracycline-resistant Salmonella Typhimurium definitive phage-type 191a (DT191a) was identified in England and Wales by the reference laboratory. This was confirmed to have a phage-typing pattern that had not previously been seen. Strong statistical evidence for an association between illness and keeping reptiles was demonstrated by a matched case-case study (mOR 16·82, 95% CI 2·78–∞). Questionnaires revealed an association with frozen reptile feeder mice, and mice representing 80% of the UK supply lines were tested for the presence of Salmonella. DT191a was found in three pools of sampled mice, which were traced back to a single supplier in the USA. Imports from this supplier were halted, and tighter regulations are now in place. A leaflet detailing how to prevent contracting Salmonella from pet reptiles has been published as well as updated advice on the Health Protection Agency's website.

Corresponding author
*Author for correspondence: Ms. K. S. Harker, Gastrointestinal, Emerging and Zoonotic Infections, Health Protection Agency's Centre for Infections, 61 Colindale Avenue, London NW9 5EQ, UK. (Email:
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Epidemiology & Infection
  • ISSN: 0950-2688
  • EISSN: 1469-4409
  • URL: /core/journals/epidemiology-and-infection
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